The first of the walleye in this spring's runs have been taken from the Maumee and Sandusky rivers, but very high water flows from the weekend's rains and continuing snowmelt will hamper activity for a few days.
Gary Lowry at Maumee Tackle said yesterday that he expects action to improve dramatically after the Maumee crests, possibly sometime today. Yesterday the river was more than six feet above normal seasonal flow and rising slowly, and water clarity was poor.
But Lowry said a forecast of six dry days should help action and access as well. For now, the high-water access sites, such as Orleans Park in Perrysburg and White Street Access in Maumee, remain the best games in town. The flow is far too deep for such wading sites as Blue Grass Island in Side Cut Metropark.
Lowry credited angler Josh Smith of Sherwood for turning up with the first two walleye of the season at his shop at sunset Friday. One weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces, and the other 6 pounds 4 ounces.
The shopkeeper said Smith was fishing from noon to sunset with a partner from a boat near Ford Street. First fish was caught around 2 p.m. and the second around 4:30. Smith was using floating jigheads initially but switched to a 5/8-ounce lead-head jig with a glow-in-the-dark Twister tail.
"I was not surprised when he told me he was using glow," Lowry said. "It's always been a good muddy water color."
A few more fish trickled in over the weekend and yesterday, but activity was slow because of the high, swift flow. Maumee Tackle posts a daily river update on its Web site, maumeetackle.net. The shop number is 419-893-FISH.
On the Sandusky River in downtown Fremont, a lot of walleye were seen on Saturday, according to Bernie Whitt at Anglers Supply there.
Whitt said the river yesterday was three to four feet above normal and muddy, and it was too high for wading. But he said good numbers of walleye have entered the stream.
In related news, Whitt said he is receiving good reports of bullhead and channel catfish catches in Mud Creek and Portage River. Most lower tributaries of western Lake Erie should produce similar results.
The First Lady of Hunting, Brenda Valentine, is scheduled to appear Friday at the annual fund-raising dinner of the award-winning Maumee Valley Chapter, National Wild Turkey Federation.
The dinner is set for Holland Gardens Banquet Hall, 6530 Angola Rd. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7:30, followed by auctions and raffles. The chapter recently won the NWTF's "Wheelin' Sportsmen" honor from among 348 chapters nationwide for its annual spring turkey hunt with mobility impaired hunters.
Valentine is the NWTF's spokesman, host of Turkey Call on the Pursuit Channel, and co-host of Bass Pro Shops' Real Hunting TV on the Versus network. She travels the country with her pro-hunting message.
For additional information or tickets, call Jeff Wright at 419-467-4187, or e-mail NWTF regional director Wayne Markland at email@example.com.
The 33rd annual gathering of waterfowl artists, collectors, and carvers, sponsored by the Ohio Decoy Carvers and Collectors Association, is set for Thursday through Sunday in Westlake, Ohio.
The event site is the Holiday Inn West, 1100 Crocker Rd., just off Exit 156 of I-90, 15 miles west of Cleveland.
The prestigious event features vintage decoy collections on display, collecting and painting seminars, judging of the federal junior duck stamp competition for Ohio, fish decoy contest, shorebird carving, an auction Saturday, and more.
Featured wildlife artists include Rob Leslie and Glen McMurdo, and featured collector is Dick McIntyre. Other details are available online at odcca.net or call Bob Lund, 419-340-2789.
The 18th annual Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo is set for Friday through Sunday at the Ohio Expo Center on the State Fairgrounds in Columbus.
This popular event spotlights almost everything imaginable about trophy deer and wild turkey hunting, including displays of fabulous Ohio bucks. Hours are Friday 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Fairgrounds/Expo Center, at 717 East 17th St., is off I-71 in Columbus.
Byron Ferguson, legendary trick-shot archer, will be on hand, as will meat processor Bill Hesselgrave, who will be presenting venison butchering demonstrations. Exhibits, displays, and how-to demonstrations also are featured. Full details can be found online at deerinfo.com or call Thursday 614-294-0204 or toll-free 800-324-3337.
Upcoming - tomorrow, Erie Shores Birding Association, 7:30 p.m., Room 201, Life Science Building,. Monroe County Community College, Monroe, Mich.; program by Steve Pollick on experiencing winter wilderness in Upper Michigan's Porcupine Mountains.
Saturday, wild game dinner, Bono Baptist Church, fellowship hall, Main Street, Bono, 4 to 7 p.m.; all types of wild game, alligator, and ostrich. For ticket information call Brian at 419-392-0383. Proceeds benefit the church youth group.
Saturday and Sunday, gun show, Sandusky County Sportsmen's Club, State Rt. 600 east of Gibsonburg; Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Sam James at 419-862-2439.
Contact Steve Pollick at: